GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A new local business owner hopes his store will inspire others like him who have experienced trauma.

Drake Johnson says buying and selling sneakers started out as a hobby, but then became a passion. He just opened Restrikted Sneakers & Streetwear at RiverTown Crossings in Grandville and is working to not only soothe the soles on your feet, but also inspire the young souls of West Michigan.

“I started doing shoes when I was around 14,” Johnson said. “I originally started doing it for myself because I only had a few pairs of shoes and then I started doing other people’s shoes because I started posting my work. The reason I’m doing all this is to create enough capital to go back to Muskegon and help out the kids there.”

Johnson went to Muskegon High School. He says growing up, he went through many struggles, including losing more than 10 friends to gun violence.

“A lot of people don’t really have anybody to really guide them in any type of way,” Johnson said.

He hopes to show people where he comes from that there are different ways to make a difference in life.

“A lot of kids just think like college is the only way to be successful and it’s really not because there’s other options like the military, opening your own business,” he said.

He said he wants to show other kids who grew up like him that anything is possible.

“I hope to go back to Muskegon and really inspire kids and young adults, too,” said Johnson.

Restrikted Sneakers & Streetwear is located near Dick’s Sporting Goods, right across from American Eagle.